Last year may have been a buoyant one for London landlords but a leading lettings agency admits rents dropped by up to 20 per cent in December in a bid to attract tenants and avoid winter void periods.
“Voids did creep up but figures are distorted as the market has become more seasonal. For the last two years in particular, the key months have been between April and October – when a property can let within a week - whereas voids can be substantially increased if a property becomes available between November and March” says Lucy Morton, head of lettings at W A Ellis.
She says 2013 saw a remarkable 50 per cent increase in prime central London tenancies over the previous year and an average 2.8 per cent increase in rents. The firm’s average tenancy lasts about three years.
Morton forecasts more of the same in 2014, with the possibility of a market boost if the wider UK economy recovers as expected. “Indications are that the City will be hiring thus creating more tenants. I predict Prime Central London rents will increase by marginally over three per cent in 2014” she says.
And her inside tip? She claims a property that is well-presented and priced realistically should let within a month of being marketed.